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2022 Acura NSX Type S debuts with 600 HP, chassis tweaks and wilder looks

Only 350 units of the Type S will be built, and there won't be a "normal" 2022 NSX.

The Type S is the ultimate NSX.

Acura

2022 will be the final model year for the hybrid Acura NSX supercar, which launched in 2016 after a long gestation period. To mark the end of the NSX's life, Acura is sending it off with an new higher-performance Type S model that just made its debut at Monterey Car Week with more power, improved dynamics and fresh styling.

The Type S retains the NSX's hybrid setup, which features a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with three electric motors. Type S-specific tweaks to the V6 include new intercoolers, new fuel injectors, and new turbochargers taken from the GT3 Evo race car. The engine's output is now 520 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, increases of 20 hp and 37 lb.-ft. over the standard car.  

Acura also tweaked the hybrid system's battery, giving it 10% greater output and 20% higher usable capacity, which allowed for more power from the electric motors and a longer EV range (though Acura doesn't specify how much longer). And the gear ratio for the dual motors at the front wheels is 20% lower, increasing off-the-line torque. Total output for the Type S is 600 hp and 492 lb.-ft., up 27 hp and 16 lb.-ft. over the regular NSX, making it Acura's most powerful road car ever. Acura also says the Type S is its quickest production car ever, and while no performance specs are given, the brand does say it'll lap the Suzuka circuit in Japan two seconds quicker than the normal NSX.

New bumpers, splitters and intakes improve cooling and downforce.

Acura

The nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission has also been retuned. There's a new Rapid Downshift feature that allows the driver to hold down the left paddle for 0.6-second, at which point the transmission selects the lowest possible gear -- no more need to click through individual gears. Upshifts in Sport and Sport Plus modes are 50% quicker when using the paddles, and in Sport Plus the transmission now downshifts almost immediately if the brakes are hit without the car getting manually downshifted. In Track mode the Type S can be downshifted earlier, thanks to a rev threshold that's 1,500 rpm higher.

Upgrades for the Type S aren't limited to the powertrain. There are new forged five-spoke wheels that have a higher negative offset and widen the track by 0.4-inch at the front and 0.8-inch at the rear compared to the standard NSX, and they're wrapped in special Pirelli P Zero tires that were developed specially for the Type S. The new tires are sized 245/35ZR19 at the front and 305/30ZR20 at the back, and Acura says they provide a 6% increase in lateral grip. The Type S has new suspension calibrations for less body roll and brake dive, the torque vectoring system has improved response at turn-in and corner exit, and the active engine and intake sound systems have been overhauled to provide a more "integrated" engine note. A new Lightweight Package adds carbon-ceramic brakes (already an option on the standard NSX), a carbon-fiber engine cover and lots of carbon interior trim. It costs $13,000, and Acura says it reduces weight by 58 pounds.

The new wheels have special Pirelli tires.

Acura

Of course, Acura couldn't put out a Type S model without changing the styling, too. The front bumper is completely new, ditching the regular car's mustachioed look for a much pointier nose with larger air intakes. The carbon-fiber front splitter reduces lift, and the outboard intakes act as air curtains through to the sides of the car. At the rear is a redesigned bumper with a larger carbon diffuser that improves downforce, with little fins that prevent wake from the tires. A carbon-fiber roof is now standard, and there's carbon on the side skirts and spoiler too. The mirrors, door handles and badges are gloss black, the exhaust has a dark finish, and the head and taillights have tinted lenses. Finally, the Type S gets decals on the quarter panels, a numbered plaque on the engine cowling and a red engine cover. Changes to the interior are fairly minimal, amounting to an Alcantara headliner, an embroidered Type S logo on the glovebox and embossed NSX logos on the headrests.

There will be no "regular" 2022 NSX, as every NSX that rolls off the line at Acura's assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio will be a Type S. Only 350 will be built worldwide, with 300 of those coming to the US, marking the first time an NSX Type S has been sold outside of Japan. Seventy units of the total Type S production will be finished in a new matte Gotham Gray color. The NSX Type S will start at $171,495 including destination, which is just $12,000 more than the outgoing 2021 NSX. Order books are now open online, though Acura doesn't say when deliveries will start.